Sunday, 9 November 2008

How Long Will You Carry Her?

Yesterday morning, Mark and I arrived at Synagogue early, so Mark could get in one final practice before the service.
While practicing, I went to get something to drink. There was an older brother who spoke to everyone who would listen how disappointed he was about the election out come. As I listened, I was reminded of a story....I waited for the right time to share as so not to embarrass the older brother....

Years ago, there was once an older Rabbi who enjoyed walking to the evening Shabbat service. This would often give him time to talk to the Holy One.
But sometimes, he would be joined by one of his students, who wanted to discuss some nugget he found in Torah study. Rabbi would be gracious and allowed the intrusion, after all, when he spoke to G-d, He would take the time to listen to him....
On this one night, it was quite rainy. The old Rabbi and his student hurried to the Synagogue. As they reached the street corner, there stood a young black, dressed in a very nice busniess suit, but clearly not Jewish. She was carrying a briefcase, so she was coming home from home and not going to Shabbat service. She stood at the corner, trying to figure out how to cross the street. The busniess woman was wearing leather highheels and stocking and the high puddles would have not only ruined her heels and stockings, but she could have also slipped and fallen.
The Rabbi, being a wise man, quickly sized up the woman's problem and being the genttleman that he was, offered to carry her across the street.
At first she was a litle put off by the offer, But then, she realize he wasn't being fresh and accepted it.
His young student's mouth flew open in shock!
His Rabbi, this wise, g-dly of men, held in his arms a woman, not his wife or daughters, not even a woman of his faith! How could he!
The three reached the over side and after being put down gently by the rabbi, the young woman was very grateful, but refrained from giving him a kiss. After all, she knew he was a rabbi and it not be proper, so she offered to give something to the Rabbi for his help. He refused, but said to give her gift to someone else in need. Clearly touched, she asked questions about his faith and the Rabbi invited her and her family to Shabbat services. If not this Shabbat, then maybe the next.
After she left, the two men quickened their steps to Synagogue in silence.
But with each step, the young student became more and more angry with his Rabbi. Bad enough to touch a woman not your wife....bad enough to carry her like a pack mule....but not to invite such a person and her blood to his place of could he! Doesn't he know he is now unclean to lead services.....
Just as the men reached the steps of the Synagogue, the student couldn't be silence no longer.
Forgetting in who's presence he stood, the young student exploded in anger.
When the young man finish his outburst, the old Rabbi asked him one question:
"Ari, I sat that woman down four blocks ago. How much longer are you going to carry her?"
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